White paper writing can seem like a big challenge, whether you’re an experienced white paper writer or not. If you have a clear picture of what a white paper should achieve, however, the task of white paper writing will be a lot easier.
First, how do you define a white paper? Well, there is no simple answer. Every industry has its own specific description for white paper writing. In general, a white paper is a report that explains an issue in detail and proposes a solution. A white paper is more formal and has more text. Companies rely on white papers to educate readers about an issue and provide awareness about the best practices or solutions available for those issues.
Faced with a white paper writing challenge? Here are some tips for white paper writing to highlight your expertise and gain expertise.
#1 Structure your content when white paper writing
Looking at the global Google statistics, around 9,000 searches are done using the term ‘whitepaper’ and 50,000 searches are done using the keyword ‘white paper’ every month!
With such high interest in white papers, it’s no secret that structuring the content is important when white paper writing.
Taking the density of the text into account, you can to structure your content effectively by creating smaller sections as below while white paper writing:
- Problem/issue statement
#2 White Paper Writing: Title, Abstract, Introduction
The first step in white paper writing is to create a title that will draw readers’ attention.
Answers to the following questions may help you create an apt title for your white paper:
- Who is this white paper intended for?
- What could be the area of concern or interest for these audiences?
- What is the solution proposed by the white paper?
- Is the title relevant to search engine optimization (SEO)?
For example, the title that has fewer than 55 characters when white paper writing, you may have very few issues while searching online for it on Google.
Some research will help you to write a title that suits you and your audience.
White paper writing with a short abstract gives you an opportunity to let your readers know what you are about to say. An abstract provides clues to how readers can benefit by reading the white paper. These clues include:
- What is the white paper all about?
- What are the benefits this white paper offers to the readers?
- What problems, solutions and methodologies are described?
Though the abstract should follow the title, it’s always good to write an abstract after you complete white paper writing.
Another challenging area in white paper writing is to write a suitable, attention-grabbing introductory section. As it provides an overview of the white paper, it’s essential to add more information (than in the abstract), such as topic background and objectives, or introduce the overall framework of the white paper in the introduction section.
#3 White Paper Writing: Problem Statement, Solution, Conclusion
An important aspect of white paper writing is to develop the information provided in the introduction section.
Start with the definition of the problem statement and describe it clearly. A few pointers that might help you define a problem statement could be:
- The current status of the market pertaining to your industry or product
- The pain point of companies or customers
- Anything specific that is causing problems to the stakeholders.
Now that you have defined the problem statement accurately, the next step in white paper writing is to offer a solution by explaining the methodology or framework you are proposing to address the problem.
If you are about to provide multiple solutions, then it is meaningful to describe each of the solutions in detail. You can also categorise the solutions further into sub-groups and explain the benefits of each solution.
Support your solution with relevant data or personal stories or real-life examples, and write solutions specific to the problem statement you have defined.
The task of white paper writing is completed when you summarise the facts that are written in the white paper. Write a conclusion by restating the objectives of the white paper in a stronger tone.
You can also add additional resources for the users to refer to. For example, you can provide links to the previously published white paper or the reference links you used when white paper writing.
To make your white paper visually appealing, try to add some tables or charts or infographics.
White paper writing with relevant content that suits each of the stakeholder categories will make your white paper stand out from the crowd.
#4 White Paper Writing That Includes What’s Necessary
White papers are a subtle mode to pitch your product or service. So white papers can be viewed as a marketing tool. But if you overdo it, then the white paper may resemble sales material and the whole purpose of white paper writing is lost. You have to build your content in such a way that facts are presented and supporting evidence is included. A white paper is written in a persuasive tone but it’s not directly selling your products or services – it highlights your expertise. You don’t show that your organisation is a market leader, but the content you are providing should show readers that you are an industry expert.
For example, if the reader feels that your white paper is a problem-solving guide for them, then you have won!
#5 Calls to Action: The ‘Promotional’ Component in White Paper Writing
White paper writing with an effective call to action may introduce you to new potential customers.
For example, include:
- An e-mail address to enable readers to write to you if they need clarification
- A website link when writing a white paper to promote your brand
- Contact phone numbers so readers can speak to the relevant person directly
- Social media links, which provide an opportunity to get feedback and start group conversations.
White paper writing with compelling words or phrases will help you capture leads. Here are some useful phrases!
- Reach out to us for a free demo
- Click here to read more
- Start a free trial
- Register here for a free demo session
- Enrol for FREE 30-day trial offer.
Most importantly, ensure that your text is well-formatted, free of typos, and edited for grammar and language, highlighting your commitment to accuracy and quality.
You can also check the white papers released by your competitors so that you can better position your white paper.
At Word Nerds, we have written and edited a diverse range of documents and publications. Please contact us to discuss your white paper writing goals and requirements.
If you want to improve business writing skills in your organisation, learn more about our business writing training.